2013 Mom's Choice Gold Award-Winner!
This book is the result of the author's more than 35 years of working with young people as a clinical psychologist and helping them through their growing-up years. In it we follow the conversations and experiences of a group of middle schoolers in an after-school club, the No-Name Club, as they learn strategies for dealing with problems, mistakes, and failures. We travel with them as they find out that meeting a challenge can be fun and that happiness is an attitude, not a condition.
The main premise of the book is that how you respond to what happens to you is more important than what actually happens to you, and how you interpret what happens to you is determined by your attitude. Problems aren’t necessarily “bad”; they are a part of life, and dealing with them constructively can make you a stronger person.
The six members of the No-Name Club learn through their weekly meetings more than they expected. They not only learn problem-solving strategies, but they also learn that they can work together for the common good and that each of them can become stronger in the process.
The questions and suggestions that follow each chapter can facilitate some great discussions, both in the home and in the classroom.
“...Ms. Humphrey presents unique and innovative strategies to help kids solve problems both now and in the future. This is a great resource for both the home and the classroom. Highly recommended!” – Gene Bedley, PTA National Teacher of the Year
“Sandra Humphrey's delightful book expertly explores ways to deal positively and effectively with the myriad of dilemmas and troubles facing contemporary adolescents. Problems are not just obstacles to be overcome but can be opportunities for growth and progress if faced with a positive attitude and intelligent choices. Highly recommended!” – Philip Bigler, 1998 National Teacher of the Year
“As someone who has worked with thousands of young people in the area of character education, I can see this book as being a great help to young people who want to grow through their problems rather than be defeated by them. I particularly liked the book’s emphasis on the connection between positive thought and positive outcome. This book challenges young people to reframe their problems and make small goals for themselves that are ‘positive, specific, and in the present.’ ...Kudos to Ms. Humphrey for giving today’s youth a hands-on resource to help face their everyday problems with courage and confidence.” – Jane Leyden Cavanaugh, Retreat Director, The Vineyard, LLC
“This book is a valuable resource for both the home and the classroom.” – Gerald Jampolsky, M.D., co-author of A Mini Course for Life
“...an effective tool for helping young people learn how to cope with life’s problems from a positive and optimistic approach. The commonsense story leads tweens to understand the thought process to deal with daily difficulties in a healthy, proactive manner.... This is a must-read for the classroom and for individual young readers searching for an understanding of why bad things happen and how to make good choices through their growth and development.” – Deb Landry, certified parenting coach and author of Sticks, Stones and Stumped!, Yankee Go Home, and The Comfort Zone
“Yet another life-changing message from Sandra Humphrey! Her book will help young people think through difficult situations in new ways and will shine a light on circumstances that may seem impossible.” – Lee Ann Butler-Owens, founder of Lullalee Productions & Services, Literacy Programs for Children
“...a book that will help kids learn the skills to make good things happen. Each chapter is rich with tools that kids can use right now.... Don’t underestimate the way this book can shape young lives for the good!” – Laya Saul, author of You Don’t Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way
“...delivers useful psychological tips and instruction that young children can understand, and delivers its lessons in a respectful, easy-to-read format. Parents, kids, counselors, and teachers will benefit tremendously from this book. I wish it had existed when I was in middle school!” – Michael Smart, 2008 Minnesota Teacher of the Year
"I recommend this book for young people to learn problem-solving skills in a way that is appealing to them.... Humphrey's book provides a valuable service to our young people." – Dr. John E. Mayer, clinical psychologist, school consultant, and author of Mayer's Memo
"...As the book unfolds, the author puts into play all the helpful elements that psychological and educational research suggests will help tweens shift from a problem orientation to a challenge/opportunity mindset.... Sandra McLeod Humphrey is truly masterful in understanding her targeted youth audiences, their needs, and how best to communicate with them. The pragmatic tools she includes within this [book] will truly advance the maturity of tween judgment and action in a host of everyday, life situations." – Donald R. Draayer, Ed.D., educational consultant, former school superintendent, 1990 National Superintendent of the Year
Sandra McLeod Humphrey was a clinical psychologist, a character education consultant, and an award-winning author of eight middle-grade and young adult books. She had more than 35 years of experience working with young people and was the recipient of the 2000 National Character Education Center's Award, winner of several Mom's Choice awards, and winner of the 2005 Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature.
She was married to her husband Brian for 50 years, and they had three children and four grandchildren. She said: "It is never too early to begin talking with our young people about personal values and helping them define their own code of moral conduct." Sadly, Sandra and her husband died tragically in a house fire in 2012.